House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to initiate a Department of Justice investigation into whether EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. violated federal law by failing to disclose information after using taxpayer funds to perform gain-of-function research on potentially deadly pathogens in Wuhan, China.
“We have been investigating whether U.S. taxpayer dollars funded dangerous research into deadly pathogens in Wuhan, China. For more than a year, the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have denied using taxpayer money to fund this type of research. However, a recent admission from the NIH reveals that EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., a NIAID grant recipient, may have violated federal law in its taxpayer-funded work on deadly pathogens. We accordingly refer this matter to the Justice Department for investigation,” wrote the lawmakers.
“Between September 30, 2019 and August 3, 2021, EcoHealth received $21,648,574 in grant funds from U.S. taxpayers that the company may not have received if it had timely disclosed to NIH that it had created a virus that would trigger the cessation of its experiments. The fact that EcoHealth received more than $21 million during this period shows that the company had a clear financial incentive to violate the terms of its grant by failing to stop its experiments. In addition, EcoHealth’s failure to provide the required reporting to NIH for nearly two years—despite a requirement in the grant to do so annually—suggests that EcoHealth knowingly withheld information from NIH in an effort to misrepresent the project’s status,” concluded the lawmakers.